Ukraine, The First Chapter to War in Eastern Europe

Whether Putin can do it is another matter

Martin Knapp
3 min readSep 15, 2023


And there it is folks….

In an interview that has finally been making the rounds over the last few days, Colonel-General Andrei Mordvichev, a commander who Putin recently promoted in July (probably in prep for Prigozhin’s death), admitted in an interview on Russia-1, that Ukraine is just a stepping stone.

You can watch the interview here.

provided by the KremlinYap

Putting this into perspective, keep in mind that Russia-1 television is a state media channel. So they are going to provide an interview that pleases the Kremlin and the hardliners. Essentially Mordvichev was ensuring Kremlin hardliners that he is going to do what’s asked. Generals are just as easily replaced as ground troops in the Russian military. The moment Mordvichev doesn’t do or fails to do what the Kremlin wants — he will be replaced.

However this interview is more a look into the mind of what Putin and the hardline Siloviki want. That goal seems to be Eastern Europe.

I’ve written about this long before. If you want a fresh look, have a read of the following two articles where I describe why the War in Ukraine is likely to become a long protracted war, and more recently how Putin wants to connect up to Kaliningrad:

What’s happening now

Two interesting things happened this week that signal escalation and the Western allies getting more involved.

  1. The Ukrainians launched a successful counter attack on a Russian ship and submarine in Sevastopol using British missiles. This is a first attack of it’s kind using long-range missiles from a Western allied country. You can bet the Kremlin is taking note.

2. Just a few days ago, Putin met with North Korean President Kim Jong Un in what many believe to be an arms deal.

With tensions still very high along the Polish-Belurussian border as troops remain in place on both sides,

provided by Getty and Newsweek

it seems that Putin might be daring enough to try moving westward at some point. Many don’t think that is possible, nor that he is likely to be successful.

But the same was said before Putin invaded Ukraine.



Martin Knapp

I write about economics, geopolitics, and conflict. Short posts on X @GeoPoliticaMK